Would You Euthanize?

Kyleena696

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I have a betta fish in a cycled (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10-20 nitrate) heated (26.6 degrees) 10 gallon tank. He's been hiding at the bottom of the tank constantly since around November. I'll see him out maybe once or twice a week but if I try to observe him at all he instantly goes and hides and won't come out again that I see (his tank is right beside the couch so I'd be able to see him swimming around if he is). He was coming out to eat while I watched up until around 3 weeks ago and I honestly have no idea if he's even eating anymore.

I put him into the bucket when I did a water change today (took about 10 minutes to get him out of the tank) so that I could observe him for the first time in months. He's really skinny and it almost looks like he's pineconing even though he isn't bloated in the slightest. I tried to feed him some freeze dried mysis shrimp while he was in the bucket and he completely ignored every piece.

All in all he seems very depressed and like he doesn't "have a good life" despite everything I have for him. I was wondering if you guys would just let him live it out even though he hides nearly 24/7 or if I should euthanize at this point as he doesn't seem to be happy.
 

Dingomama

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Temp?

My bad, you included
Temp. I'm out of my depth but hang in there. You're in the right place for help.
 
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Kyleena696

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75g Discus Tank said:
I apologize for the horrible quality, I can try to retake more if they're not adequate. Also his large belly in some of them is because he ended up eating the shrimp I gave him when I left the room.

Edit: I can include pictures of his tank if you'd like too.
 

Ulu

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You might try giving him a treatment of prazipro, BUT, are you 100% sure that he's not suffering from water quality issues?

If you can get him to eat medicated food scented with garlic juice he might recover.

Kyleena696 said:
. . . so that I could observe him for the first time in months. . .
If I can't see a fish for more than one day I get worried and start tearing the tank apart. Then again I don't keep any "hiding" fish like loaches and such.

But I'm keeping 10 bettas and they are all pretty much in my face when I go to their tanks.
 

Ulu

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Probably worms or kidney infection.

I will say this about water testing.

I can do a full panel on two tanks side by side. Both of them can have the same parameters on the chart.

But those two tanks smell different. Things we're not testing for do get into the water.

You really can't rely on just the chemical tests alone.

As far as euthanasia, IMO it all depends on your personal engagement level.

I catch fish, kill fish, cook fish and eat fish, so it does not bother me to put a fish out of its misery.

But if you are invested enough to try and save this fish then I wouldn't hesitate to give him some medicated food and dose the tank.
 

Adrian Burke

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How did Your fish act before November? It might just have a really shy attitude, or maybe something happened in November?
 
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Kyleena696

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Ulu said:
Probably worms or kidney infection.

I will say this about water testing.

I can do a full panel on two tanks side by side. Both of them can have the same parameters on the chart.

But those two tanks smell different. Things we're not testing for do get into the water.

You really can't rely on just the chemical tests alone.

As far as euthanasia, IMO it all depends on your personal engagement level.

I catch fish, kill fish, cook fish and eat fish, so it does not bother me to put a fish out of its misery.

But if you are invested enough to try and save this fish then I wouldn't hesitate to give him some medicated food and dose the tank.
What tests would you suggest then?

I also fish and have euthanized fish from my tanks before so that also does not bother me.

Just seen that you edited your first post. I do see him daily but I have to search for him. By observe I meant he doesn't stay in the open long enough for me to get a good look at him and make sure he's doing well.

I left the shrimp in the bucket for him and he ate them when I wasnt in the room so I'm assuming he is still eating and just doesn't do it in front of me. I'm more concerned about his hiding behaviour as it doesn't seem like a very fulfilling life.

Adrian Burke said:
How did Your fish act before November? It might just have a really shy attitude, or maybe something happened in November?
Boisterous. Always out and about coming up to greet me and flaring for the mirror.

I'll be honest. I had him in a different ten gallon and he did fine with the ghost shrimp I added. I decided to add some blue velvets and he attacked them about an hour later. Because it was easier to remove the fish I took him out and had him in a bucket until I could set up a 5.5G for him (he was in there with a sponge from the filter and for 2-3 days, I changed half of the water each day). After he was in the five by himself is when his personality completely changed. Long story short the 5G broke in the beginning of march so I set up a spare ten my sister gave me that he's in now.

I'm aware the bucket situation stressed him out but he wasn't in there for very long and it did have the cycled sponge. I also kept the bucket in my closet so it would be dark and gave him his betta log to try to minimize the stress. I didn't think it would traumatize him for the rest of his life.
 

Ulu

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I believe that Sometimes fish develop neurological damage related to undetected physical trauma. Maybe, A fish traveling at full speed smacks head first into a glass wall and compresses his entire spine.

He might act totally nuts until the swelling between his vertebrae go down and relieves the pressure on his nerves.

Then he might recover or he might continue to live but never recover from it, and you might never know what happened because there were no signs except maybe a little bruise on his nose.
 
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Kyleena696

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Ulu said:
I believe that Sometimes fish develop neurological damage related to undetected physical trauma. Maybe, A fish traveling at full speed smacks head first into a glass wall and compresses his entire spine.

He might act totally nuts until the swelling between his vertebrae go down and relieves the pressure on his nerves.

Then he might recover or he might continue to live but never recover from it, and you might never know what happened because there were no signs except maybe a little bruise on his nose.
I don't think mine received any physical trauma, it would have been mental distress that caused his personality to change.
 

Ulu

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Kyleena696 said:
What tests would you suggest then?

I also fish and have euthanized fish from my tanks before so that also does not bother me . . .
If you're satisfied with your water hardness the only thing I would suggest is that you smell the tank frequently.

Does it seem normal or is there anything that smells a little off to you?

With a little experience you can smell a tank that has high ammonia or high nitrates and tell the difference. But that stuff you can test for easily, and there are other things that you can't, but can still smell.

I don't know if this is what happened to you. It's just my best guess.
 
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Kyleena696

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Ulu said:
If you're satisfied with your water hardness the only thing I would suggest is that you smell the tank frequently.

Does it seem normal or is there anything that smells a little off to you?

With a little experience you can smell a tank that has high ammonia or high nitrates and tell the difference. But that stuff you can test for easily, and there are other things that you can't, but can still smell.

I don't know if this is what happened to you. It's just my best guess.
Smells normal to me. Like water. It doesn't have the earthy/planty smell that my 29 does. I've honestly never noticed a smell off of either of my 10 gallons.

We're avoiding my question though: would you euthanize a betta that hides constantly and doesn't seem to be enjoying life as he is always hiding?
 

Ulu

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Not unless he appears to be wasting away.

The fact that you pose the question leads me to believe that you may think he is.

I would rearrange his tank & give him another shot at it.

I keep going back to the water quality thing because changes in water quality are the first thing which seem to depress the fish, right after changes in temperature.

By the way for some reason I cannot see your photographs on my Android phone. But I reread your post and it sounds like he really is wasting away.

Betta fish can survive on very little for a very long time.
 
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Kyleena696

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I made my first attempt at a tree and put it in there around 3 weeks ago and it hasn't changed anything. He also got an upgrade from a 5.5G to a 10G so a huge rearrangement and it didn't help anything either.

It's okay, they weren't very good quality and didn't show much. But yes, he seems to be quite skinny. He's just like head - gills - super skinny stomach - tail.

I'm just ruling out bad water quality because all of my other tanks are fine. And he's been in two different setups now so completely new water (same filter) and his behaviour is just getting worse.

I'd really rather not euthanize him but it really saddens me to always look at a tank that appears empty because he's hiding so well.

BTW, Thank you for your replies.
 

Georgie Girl

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I'm aware the bucket situation stressed him out but he wasn't in there for very long and it did have the cycled sponge. I also kept the bucket in my closet so it would be dark and gave him his betta log to try to minimize the stress. I didn't think it would traumatize him for the rest of his life.
In my limited experience, it seems to me that you're taking good care of him. You're quite conscientious, aware of all of his needs and doing your best for him.

I hope he recovers. Best to you.
 

Ulu

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I guess once they don't swim normally anymore and it appears impossible to cure them that's where I draw the line.

I had to put down a fish the other day and it was just a little tetra.

He'd been sick for 3 mos and I had gone through everything I could think of to save him.

He didn't seem to get worse but he didn't seem to get better. I came in one day and was going to change water and found him floating sideways and upside down.

I oiled him an put him in a flower pot. I cannot say it didn't hurt to do it. Sometimes you do everything you can and fail. Sometimes I make a mistake and never know.

I don't think about the one that died. I think about the 29 that still live.
 
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Kyleena696

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Dingomama said:
Would you try katappa leaf/ Indian Almond Leaf? I've seen it completely improve behavior in two of my bettas. Like it reinvigorated them.
I already do. I boil the leaves and add in the concentrate with each water change to all 3 tanks. =\ thanks for the suggestion though!
 
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